We find our candidates while they are currently working at a job, and we have a positive interaction. I want someone who is actively working and wanting to improve their working environment. I also admire loyalty, so if someone turns me down for a conversation, I don’t get offended. I find the right person and then train for the skill. I will hire the right person in my company even before I have an open spot.
To attract job seekers, we focus on our company culture and career opportunity. We have had people retire after 31 and 25 years, and currently have a 23-year veteran still working. I find that money is not the main benefit people are looking for. People usually don’t leave jobs because of pay; they leave for better environments. Provide a positive workplace, good benefits such as PTO, 401(k), company sponsored events — and let your employees know you truly care about them. That is the secret sauce.
David Townley President Townley Pool and Spa Little Rock, Arkansas
I have tried both paid and free employment sites, and to date they have proven to be not as effective as I would like. Unfortunately, the success with these sites has been about 30%. Our best experience has been with referrals, as the hot tub and swim spa industry seems to require a special individual who has a high degree of professionalism, willing to work in challenging situations such as adverse weather and unique installations. In addition to those needs, you require a person who can learn quickly, work on their own and have a MacGyver-likeability in himself or herself.
Sales staff are not as difficult to hire, as the job is almost routine if the individual is aware of the uniqueness of the retail environment. The challenge I find is that working in a small mom-and-pop store creates its own challenge, and an employee must realize how vital they are to a small organization.
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When we do advertise for employees, we certainly indicate the advantages we offer as an employer. In our case, sales staff are supplied with IT equipment such as iPads or laptops, depending on their preference. Technicians are supplied with mobile phones and their own tools, complete with an allowance for replacement equipment. As a small business, we also offer insurance benefits, which can have an impact for my employees these days. Lastly, there is always the subject of income. We indicate to our staff that their regular wage will increase depending on performance, while annual bonuses depend on individual performance and their yearly reviews. All of these seem to make a large difference for those who we have hired. It certainly sets us apart from the large auto industry.
Hans Kissmann Owner Georgian Hot Tubs Barrie, Ontario
We use a combination of Indeed.com; referrals from existing employees; a dedicated HR generalist; and we keep an eye out for talent at other workplaces. The biggest key is moving fast to schedule an interview, making a quick hiring decision, and staying in communication between hire and start date to avoid cold feet or unwanted competition from poaching.
To attract sales staff, we definitely focus on the total expected commission compensation as the pay range, as well as the opportunity to be a part of creating family fun and memories. There are not many jobs that offer that. For many of the other roles, it’s important for prospects to feel the energy and culture when they walk into your showrooms or offices. We find the biggest motivation for prospects is the opportunity to grow and make a difference.
Ronak Shah Co-owner Galaxy Home Recreation Five locations across Oklahoma and Arkansas